Commentary

Out to Launch

Gin, Subaru, and voting. Welcome to highlights of ad campaigns launched recently.

Subaru of America's latest campaign launch is part of an integrated marketing campaign that will support its 2005 model lineup including the completely redesigned Subaru Legacy and Outback. The spots, created by TM Advertising, again feature Lance Armstrong under the tag line "Driven By What's Inside." The spots will run on national cable and spot TV in more than 80 markets. Print ads are appearing in weekly publications such as People, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Time and Entertainment Weekly, and monthly magazines such as Cooking Light, Men's Health, Vanity Fair as well as two-dozen other national publications.

Sprint unveiled TV spots that demonstrate a basic shift in how customers will experience wireless. The first spot, "Red Ball," features children in a documentary-style format that introduces the new Sprint PCS Fair & Flexible Plan. The commercial begins with a teacher talking to a group of students who each have a new red ball. The teacher explains that before the children can play with the balls, they must tell her how many minutes they will use the ball every month -- for the next two years. As the viewer looks at dazed and confused children, the text on the screen reads, "How does your wireless company make you feel?" The spot ends with the new Sprint PCS tag line: "Sprint PCS. Now, that's better." The campaign, created by Publicis & Hal Riney of San Francisco, includes 60-second and 30-second TV spots, radio spots, and print components. Sprint is running a second spot, "New Kid," that highlights a common consumer perception that wireless companies treat new customers better than existing customers.

Lancome is launching a $300 million global campaign this fall. The print campaign aims to make a personal connection with women through eye-popping colors and products that showcase what they are and what they do. The campaign was created through a partnership between Paris-based Agence 133, and Lancome's International and U.S. marketing teams. A feminine, hand-written Lancome signature replaces the "Believe in Beauty" tag line, which was used since 2000. Lancome's symbolic rose logo, will remain on product packaging, but is no longer in the forefront of the advertising. The campaign will launch in September issues of magazines including Vogue, W, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Essence and Latina.

Allstate is launching a campaign that will run during the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The campaign includes two television commercials promoting the spirit of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, each with a humorous twist. Additionally, Allstate is running print and radio advertising and has recently launched "Gold Medal Giveaway," an online consumer promotion to give away five new Cadillacs and other prizes. The TV commercials titled "Weightlifter" and "Shotput" were developed by Leo Burnett USA. The "Weightlifter" commercial, featuring weightlifting gold medal hopeful Shane Hamman, debuted July 24 on the USA Network during the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, presented by Allstate. Both the "Weightlifter" and "Shotput" commercials will run throughout the Olympic Games from August 13 through 29 on the NBC family networks.

Declare Yourself, the national nonpartisan, nonprofit initiative that is urging young adults to vote in the upcoming presidential election, has partnered with Benenson Janson to create a series of print, online and broadcast PSAs. The campaign, "Only You Can Silence Yourself," will remind young Americans that only they can stop themselves from participating in democracy. Featuring a mix of "real people" and young celebrities, including Andre 3000 of OutKast and Christina Aguilera, the spots are aimed at making viewers stop, look, discuss, and become inspired.

Plymouth Gin's summer campaign touts its unbeaten taste and smoothness against the two best-known gins found in the green and blue bottles. The launch coincides with a series of summer tastings taking place at bars and restaurants in six markets -- New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. At the tastings, happy hour attendees will compare Plymouth to their own gin or vodka of choice by sampling their favorite cocktail made with Plymouth Gin. The new ads, which are running in newspapers in the six markets, direct consumers to a website where they can find more information about Plymouth Gin and the local tasting events.

Keeping briefly with gin, Rémy Amerique, New York has launched Damrak Gin, the company's first "white goods" offering. IRWIN SLATER created its first campaign for the gin using the tag line "Next of Gin." Print ads will run in trend/nightlife magazines in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Miami markets.

In Web site launches this week:

Penton Media's Supply Chain Group has launched a new website. The site is the home and integrated media partner of Material Handling Management magazine and the MHM Directory. Previously identified as the Material Handling/Warehousing channel of the group's portal site, TOTALsupplychain.com, the now-independent MHM Web site has undergone an "extreme makeover" that gives users easy access to its extensive content via a new navigation model. MHMonline.com is a source for news and product/service information in the areas of material handling, warehousing and distribution, as well as protective packaging for transport. The site provides users with the latest industry news in addition to current and archived articles, new product information, new e-mail newsletters, Web casts, a career center, and much more.

Pfizer has launched a Spanish-language website to educate Hispanic consumers about the seriousness of high cholesterol and urge Latinos to seek and follow doctor-prescribed medical treatment, especially those who have already been diagnosed with the condition. The Spanish-language campaign by Pfizer, called "Baja tu colesterol" ("Lower Your Cholesterol"), also includes TV and direct mail components.

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